While hearing the 2nd appeal, Central Information Commission decided that disclosure of information in relation to unauthorized construction and encroachment does not require clearance from any third party. The commission retreated that in a number of decisions, the CIC has held that when appellant seeks the sanctioned building plan of any third party, public authority should provide the (horizontal) sanction plan(s) of the properties of the Third Party by omitting the internal room arrangements in the plan(s). The external walls with openings and projections should be shown along with the Area Statement for all the floors which has been approved/ regularised. If you want to file RTI online, do read our guide here on how to file RTI Online.
Earlier NDMC has denied information by invoking section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act on the ground that the sanctioned building plan and other information sought in the RTI application is personal, while the Appellant stated that due to the unauthorised construction, extensive damage was caused to his house.
Appellant further stated that the house was inspected by a highly qualified Structural Engineer (M. Tech in Structural Engineering) at his request by the Institution of Engineers (India), who opined “The cracking of roof slab has seriously affected the safety of the house. The structural cracks are expected to widen further or new cracks may develop if the earth under the foundation is not yet fully settled, thus making the building at A-1/9 more unsafe. These cracks may be disastrous in the event of an earthquake. The building itself may collapse. The ideal solution would be to demolish and reconstruct the affected portion of the building at A-1/9 which is indeed cumbersome and very costly. Repairs may be attempted by injection grouting with non shrink cement grout by the experts in the field”. The appellant is aggrieved as his house is damaged because of construction on a neighbouring plot and is seeking compensation for the same.
Unauthorized construction and encroachment does not require clearance from any third party
The Commission directs the respondent to provide complete information in relation to Unauthorized construction and encroachment. As regards to the sanctioned building plan, the Commission directs the respondent to provide to the appellant the (horizontal) sanction plan(s) of the properties of the Third Party by omitting the internal room arrangements in the plan(s). The external walls with openings and projections should be shown along with the Area Statement for all the floors which has been approved/ regularised.
The Commission also directed PIO, EE (B-II) and PIO, EE (B-I) /CLZ of NDMC to submit Written Submissions, latest by 5th September, 2014, to show cause why penalty should not be imposed on him under Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act, for not providing the information within the prescribed period under the RTI Act.
CIC further recorded that:
The Appellant has clearly been harassed and has had to file the first and second appeal completely unnecessarily. Because of the inept handling of this RTI Application this has occurred. Harassment of a common man by public authorities is abhorring and legally impermissible. Nothing is more damaging than the feeling of helplessness and specially when a senior citizen is the victim. Many instead of complaining would succumb in such circumstances. Therefore the award of compensation in such cases is called for in the interest of justice. The Commission awards compensation of Rs.10,000/- to be paid to the Appellant under Section 19(8) (b) of the RTI Act for the loss and detriment suffered by him in getting the information.
The case citation is available here: Maj. Gen. Baldev Kumar Vs NDMC
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